Humanists for Social Justice and Environmental Action supports Human Rights, Social and Economic Justice, Environmental Activism and Planetary Ethics in North America & Globally, with particular reference to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other Human Rights UN treaties and conventions listed above.


Organic Consumers Association Statement on GMO Labeling Law Victory in Vermont

Organic Consumers Association Statement on GMO Labeling Law Victory in Vermont

INLAND, Minn. – Today, by a vote of 28-2, the Vermont state Senate passed H.112,
a bill to require mandatory labeling of foods sold in Vermont that
contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The bill also makes it
illegal to call any food product containing GMOs “natural” or “all
natural.” Unlike bills passed last year in Maine and Connecticut, which
require four or five other states to pass GMO labeling laws before they
can be enacted, Vermont’s law contains no “trigger” clauses, making it
the first “clean” GMO labeling law in the country.

Ronnie Cummins, national director of the Organic Consumers Association (OCA), issued the following statement:  "Today’s victory in Vermont has been 20 years in the making. Ever since
genetically modified crops and foods entered the U.S. food supply in the
early 1990s, without adequate independent pre-market safety testing and
without labels, U.S. consumers have fought to require the labeling of
foods containing GMOs.

Consumer demand for mandatory labeling of GMOs spawned a national
grassroots movement that has persevered despite hundreds of millions of
dollars spent by the biotech and food industries to lobby state
lawmakers in Vermont, and to fund anti-labeling campaigns in California
(2012) and Washington State (2013).

Today, consumers and a number of principled legislators in Vermont made
it clear to Monsanto, Coca-Cola and other opponents of consumers’ right
to know: We will not back down. This movement is here to stay

We expect that Monsanto will sue the state of Vermont in order to
prevent enactment of H.112. We also expect that Monsanto will lose, and
the law will go into effect on schedule, on July 1, 2016.

We expect that the Grocery Manufacturers Association, a multi-billion
lobbying group representing more than 300 food, pesticide and drug
makers, will try to pass their “Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2014,”
introduced last week by Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.), intended to strip
Vermont, and all other states, of their right to pass GMO labeling laws.
And we expect that Congress will not pass this law, dubbed the DARK
(Deny Americans the Right to Know) Act, which seeks to deny consumers
the right to know if their food has been genetically engineered, and
deny states the right to enact laws designed to protect public health.

Vermont’s landmark victory today will force food companies to either
label GMOs in all states, or reformulate their products to be GMO-free
in order to avoid stating “this product was produced using genetic
engineering” on their packaging. When Oregon passes a citizens’ ballot
initiative to label GMOs in November, as we believe it will, the biotech
and food industries will have lost, beyond the shadow of a doubt, their
battle to keep consumers in the dark.

The OCA has worked closely over the past several years with the
pro-labeling grassroots movement in Vermont. Today we congratulate
Vermont activists for their passionate pursuit of this law, Vermont
lawmakers for having the courage to pass the law, and Vermont citizens
for being the first in the country to have the benefit of GMO labels on
their food. And we reaffirm our commitment to work with Oregon and other
states to pass similar laws, and to fight any and all attempts by
industry and/or Congress to overturn these laws.


If Fredericton's Morgentaler Clinic Closes, Women Will Die | Anne Theriault

If Fredericton's Morgentaler Clinic Closes, Women Will Die | Anne Theriault

This cannot happen. We cannot, in good conscience, let this happen.
We need to do everything that we can to allow women to exercise
reproductive freedom. We need to stand up for the right of women in New
Brunswick -- and all across Canada -- to have access to safe,
legal abortion.

Our voices, united, can affect change. There are so many things that
you can do to help create a better future for women in this country;
here are just a few:

1. Reach out New Brunswick's NDP party -- they are actively working
to end the two doctor requirement for abortions, and will happily
provide you with the contact information for members of the legislative
assembly so that you can write to your local representative. Call 1-844-NDP-NPD1 or email

2. Put pressure on your MLA to have the law changed by writing to them, calling them, and emailing them

3. Tweet about this using the hashtag #NBProchoice

4. Share this story on social media -- chances are that many
Canadians are not aware of how limited access to abortion is in New

I want to leave you now with one of my favourite quotes from Dr.
Henry Morgentaler, who was a feminist hero, agitator for women's
reproductive rights and founder of the Morgentaler abortion clinics. D.
Morgentaler was a Holocaust survivor, and his experience at Auschwitz
left him with an enormous desire to make the world a better place. While
receiving an honorary doctorate of law from the University of Western
Ontario, he said:

"By fighting for reproductive freedom, and making it possible, I have
made a contribution to a safer and more caring society where people
have a greater opportunity to realize their full potential."


Fisheries Act no longer protects fish & fish habitat | The Council of Canadians

Fisheries Act no longer protects fish & fish habitat | The Council of Canadians

The Fisheries Act can still be saved. Minister of Fisheries
and Oceans, Hon. Gail Shea, still has the ability to reject the new rule
for the sake of our swimmable, drinkable, fishable waters. We await her

On World Water Day, the Council of Canadians sent a letter to Prime Minister hopefuls
Justin Trudeau of the Liberal Party of Canada and Thomas Mulcair of the
New Democratic Party of Canada asking them to rollback the changes the
Harper government made to environmental legislation and recommit funds
needed for water research. The Council gave the Prime Minister hopefuls
until Earth Day, April 22, to respond. It is critical to know how Mr.
Trudeau and Mr. Mulcair plan to address the clawback of our fresh water
protections and so we urge you to do the same.